Maker’s Mark is an American small-batch Bourbon whisky brand from Kentucky. The standard Maker’s Mark bottling is aged for a period of six years, with a unique barrel rotation method that allows an even maturation of all their barrels.
Well known for their distinctly shaped bottles with a long-neck, sealed shut by hand-dipping them in molten red wax, Maker’s Mark invites a lot of intrigue from neophytes of the whisky drinking world. The veterans, however, love Maker’s Mark for their product, aged to perfection for taste, not time, a tradition the brand takes immense pride in.
T. William ‘Bill’ Samuels Sr. established the Maker’s Mark brand when he acquired the ‘Burk’s Distillery’ in 1953, and began production with a recipe for the mash bill that he developed on his own.
Maker’s Mark says that Bill Samuels Sr. developed his own mash bill recipe by baking loaves of bread with a number of grain combinations, arriving upon the final recipe through strenuous labour and research.
Since the very foundations of the brand were laid, Maker’s Mark was marketed as a premium, niche product that was not available in large quantities.
The standard Maker’s Mark was first introduced to the masses in the same form it is today with some minor improvements in 1959. Founder Bill Samuels Sr.’s wife, Marjorie ‘Margie’ Samuels is credited with giving the brand its name, creating the label and came up with the idea to seal the bottles with molten wax.
Surprisingly, Maker’s Mark is one of the few American brands that opt to use the spelling ‘Whisky’ without the letter ‘E’ like most American distilleries that prefer to spell it as ‘Whiskey’.
The Maker’s Mark Bourbon mash bill recipe is built around Red Winter Wheat, and unlike many other American Bourbon whiskey brands, contains no Rye. This cautious and calculated approach helps Maker’s Mark avoid the spicy bite that many Rye heavy Bourbons and Rye whiskeys are known for.
A mash bill that contains 70% Corn, 16% Red Winter Wheat and 14% Malted Barley is fermented with a yeast strain that has been in the Samuels family for over 150 years.
The fermented mash is distilled in custom-made copper stills, undergoing the ‘double distillation’ process after which the distilled spirit is filled into air-dried Oak barrels that have been charred to perfection. Maker’s Mark follows a precise ‘forty second charring’ process that helps them achieve what they call a ‘number three char’.
As the maturation is underway, a hand-rotation method is practiced in order to ensure a uniform maturation of the spirit in all the barrels whereupon after a period of six years, the whisky is tasted in order to determine whether it is ready to be bottled or not.
The original Maker’s Mark standard bottling carries an alcohol strength of 45 % ABV (90 US Proof), slightly higher than the standard permissible limit for most whisky brands from Scotland, Ireland and America.
Gold Medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Ratings Competition in 2010.
28th January 2017http://www.liquor.com/brands/makers-mark/
Rich aromas of Oak, honey, vanilla and some amounts of fruit.
Full-bodied, rich and smooth with sweet flavours of vanilla, butterscotch and fruit with a hint of spice.
Smooth, warm and sweet hints of nuts.